It’s said that smartphones have proven themselves useful in many aspects in the last decade or so. Figuratively, some might even claim they can’t live without their mobile phones.
Wherever you are, mobile devices such as handheld phones and tablets provide entertainment, education, and so much more. Whether you’ve got a health concern you’d like to look up or looking for your next online purchase, these gadgets are your modern-day useful best friend.
Currently, it’s believed that there are more than three billion mobile phone users in the world today. Each one of these phones, if you’re not careful, is susceptible to hacking or cyberattacks at any given time of the day.
Take these reminders to heart if you want to keep your devices protected and secured all the time.
- 0.1 1. Encrypt your data
- 0.2 2. Always lock your phone
- 0.3 3. Install certified antivirus software
- 0.4 4. Keep your device’s OS up-to-date
- 0.5 5. Avoid using public charging and Wi-Fi stations
- 0.6 6. Don’t open suspicious email links
- 0.7 7. Use a different password for every account you own
- 1 The Bottom Line
1. Encrypt your data
As an essential storage facility for your sensitive personal information, losing your mobile device could pose serious problems. Consider having your phone data encrypted, so it can’t be used against you once it falls into the wrong hands.
Encryption is especially handy if your unit gets accidentally damaged and you have to send it for repair. There are a lot of different cellphone repair specialists in the state of California that can service your unit. However, it’s in your best interest to look for trusted technicians near you. Look them up by typing keywords such as ‘phone repair Orange County’ or ‘phone technician’ and add in your location when doing your search.
2. Always lock your phone
The problem with modern phones is that they’re easy to be misplaced by accident. If you happen to leave them somewhere, it’s easy for them to fall into a thief’s lap. Without any form of prior protection or security, it’ll be easy for them to access, tamper with, or worse, use your sensitive personal and financial information without your permission.
If your phone is lost or got unfortunately stolen, they may use your credit cards for unauthorized purchases and other transactions. Fraudsters may also use your identity for similar illegal purposes. Having robust security features is one of the most essential factors to consider in a smartphone.
Don’t skip on setting up your phone’s security features. Modern-day phone company offerings have programs that use a person’s facial structure as identifiers for granting access. Some use thumbprints, passcodes, or pattern locks as an alternative.
3. Install certified antivirus software
It’s imperative for any mobile device, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or laptop, to have antivirus software for additional security. It protects against malware or other viruses, alongside hacking attempts perpetrated by malicious entities.
Cyberhackers use different methods to do their misdeeds. They range from sending fake announcements via short messaging services (SMS) to bogus emails containing harmful messages that direct you to dangerous links. Having an up-to-date antivirus program could prevent these attacks.
In other instances, fraudsters also trick mobile device users to downloading malicious applications designed to look like they’re the real deal. To ensure that you’re only downloading legitimate smartphone apps, access only official and certified sites.
4. Keep your device’s OS up-to-date
Smartphone manufacturers regularly release updates for their mobile device’s operating system or OS to improve user experience and security. Similar to software developers, cyberhackers are always on the move.
They aim to be ten steps ahead of the game by studying an operating system or any type of software to look for some loopholes. Then, they use them to capitalize on its weakness to introduce malware, virus, and other security threats.
To keep yourself protected, update your phone or mobile device’s system the next time it prompts you.
5. Avoid using public charging and Wi-Fi stations
Unless it’s an emergency, avoid using public charging stations and Wi-Fi connections. Cyber fraudsters are very clever and have engaged in ‘juice jacking.’ Juice jacking is a process they use to obtain unauthorized access to your mobile device over a USB connection. Instead of just charging your phone’s battery, simply plugging it in a public charger will give hackers access to your phone.
The same goes for public Wi-Fi use. Hackers can also set up legitimate-looking networks to lure you into providing them, albeit unsuspectingly, access to the data in your mobile devices. Both of these practices may lead to the oblivious phone owner allowing malicious persons to install dangerous applications on their devices.
6. Don’t open suspicious email links
It’s said that about 90% of malware is sent via email. Messages containing them are made to look legitimate, often bearing the logo and details of the company they’re supposed to represent. They’ll contain a link that may ask you to provide your details—username, password, credit or debit card number, and the like to complete the transaction.
This is a classic case of data phishing. Don’t fall for this deception. Check the message for warning signs such as poor grammar, a generic greeting, a private domain email address, and so on. These are among the red flags you should be on the lookout for to avoid falling victim to hackers’ schemes. If you happen to spot at least one of them, don’t open the email and contact your system administrator immediately.
7. Use a different password for every account you own
Some mobile device ownersuse the same password across all their online accounts, whether business or personal. Unfortunately, mobile security experts deem this is a major no-no. To keep your mobile device secure, change your passwords often and choose a strong one typically consisting of a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
In addition, enable two-factor authentication on your device. This feature keeps your account safer by asking you to provide a code or one-time PIN (personal identification number) sent to your mobile phone with every log-in attempt.
The Bottom Line
Your mobile devices store important and sensitive personal and financial information: your email address, bank details, and financial transactions, among other things. Security is primordial in ensuring that your data is protected while they’re stored in your devices. While there’s no full guarantee that you’re fully immune to cybercriminals, keeping these tips in mind and practicing them reduces your risk of falling victim to their malevolent ways.